Gardentalk – Banish and bury those dandelions and buttercups

Dandelions bloom before they go to seed in an adjunct of the KTOO Agriculture Test Station and Garden of Science!

Dandelions bloom before they go to seed in an adjunct of the KTOO Agriculture Test Station and Garden of Science! (Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO)

The dandelions are in full bloom in Juneau. Soon, the buttercups will also blossom as the dandelions go to seed.

Master Gardener Ed Buyarski has a few tips for preventing those pervasive plants from spreading in your yard and garden.

Listen to the May 16 edition of “Gardentalk” about dandelions and buttercups:
 

 
For dandelions, remove the yellow flowers before the plant goes to seed. Also, try digging out the tap root (which may go down 6-12 inches) and throw the plant into your trash, not in your compost pile.

“Even after you pick a dandelion bud, it will finish maturing and have seeds,” Buyarski said. “So yeah, into the garbage bag or something like that would be your best bet for those.”

For buttercups, remove the entire plant, including flowers, roots and their runners, which they use to spread out.

“They’re kind of more like strawberry plants in that regard, as far as how they spread,” Buyarski said. “They also set seeds.”

Try removing buttercup plants before they go to seed and, again, put the plant’s remains into the trash.

For both plants, don’t just hack at the tops of the plants with a weed eater and call it done. You may only be helping the plants multiply and spread.

Buyarski said he uses a lot of cardboard in his garden for the first layer of a mulch, which can kill both dandelions and buttercups before the cardboard breaks down in a year or two.

Do you have a garden question for Ed? Fill out the form below, and he’ll answer your question in an upcoming segment.

Listen to past episodes and subscribe to the podcast on the “Gardentalk” page, so you’ll never have to worry about missing Thursday’s live radio broadcasts.

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